Israeli Government is Bullish on Medical Cannabis Exports

Israeli Government is Bullish on Medical Cannabis Exports

Who would have thunk it. Israeli farmers lining up to grow pot. You are not living in some alternative universe. That’s what’s going on right now in Israel. And the government is supporting the initiative which it expects to generate $1billion in exports per year, and that’s even with a cannabis-hostile Trump administration.

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According to Israeli government research, medical cannabis exports is set to bring in an estimated $1 billion in revenue per year. Since the government announced the reforms two years ago, some 400 Israeli farmers applied for permits to grow cannabis, the Israeli Health Ministry said last year, with another 242 receiving preliminary approval. The ministry also said it received some 200 applications for cannabis nurseries seeking to distribute cannabis plants, 95 requests to set up cannabis pharmacies, 60 applications for processing facilities, and 44 requests to set up stores selling cannabis products.

The medical cannabis exports law hit a snag last year when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, much to the dismay of the local industry, froze export plans amid political wrangling and opposition by the Ministry of Public Security headed by Gilad Erdan which said it was afraid plants grown for exports would spill over into the recreational market, and demanded some NIS 200 million to its budget to help secure facilities. A reported conversation with US President Donald Trump, whose administration is taking a hard line against cannabis including its medical use, was also said to be the cause of the sudden export freeze.

The revised law provides a budget for police to monitor, track and control the production and delivery of cannabis for export, and prevent said spill over. Recreational use of cannabis in Israel is still not legal but licensed medical cannabis consumption for vetted physical and mental health issues has been allowed for a decade.

The law also specifies that any foreign investment of more than five percent in an Israeli cannabis company will require regulatory approval.

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